The 2017 British Summer Championships took place across six days at Ponds Forge in Sheffield from 25–30 July. The Championships form part of a broader Performance Pathway Strategy aimed at increasing and supporting junior talent on the journey towards senior medal-winning performance, as well as offering more athletes across the home nations an opportunity to compete at one of the end of season events.
This was the Royal School’s biggest team ever to attend the British Summer Championships. Thirteenth and fourteenth qualifiers, Niamh Hofland (Holland) and Alicia Dingle (Great Britain), were taking part in the European Youth Olympic Championships in Hungary.
An excellent start from Ben Cope in the 400fc taking some time off his Personal best but narrowly missing the final. Laura Hawkins racing in the 50 Breast stroke cruised through to the final and placed 10th in the final with a new PB. Melanie Hall made it through to the final of the 400IM and also placed a respectable 10th in the final.
Charley Jones, Laura Hawkins, Kane Murcott, Keeley Murcott and Melanie Hall in action today. Charley Jones placed 7th in the heats, advancing to the final coming an excellent fourth in the 100 Backstroke. Laura Hawkins placed 12th in the heat with a time of 2:40 narrowly missing her PB and the final. The 200 Butterfly heats for Kane Murcott were diffcult and meant an outside lane in a very quick heat. Kane raced the first 100 in a very quick time but dropped off in the last 50m finally placing 6th in his age group. Keeley Murcott racing in her first British Summer Championships battled hard to pick up a 14th place in the 800 FC. Also in the 800 FC Melanie Hall showed her class in placing fifth in a tough race.
Melanie Hall had a fantastic swim in the final of the 200 Butterfly, driving her PB down to a 2:15 and placing a close fourth in the final. Ben Cope and Matthew Richards both raced well and made the final. Ben swam an outstanding race and showed what a bright future he has, placing eighth. Matthew Richards powered home in the 100 Butterfly to take his first medal and second ever final in a British Summer Championships taking the GOLD!
Later on in the morning the 1500 took place with Daniel Johnson racing, eventually placing 12th. Former Royal School swimmers and students Tobias Robinson and Tom Derbyshire had a battle royale and destroyed the rest of the field taking first and second. Royal School swimmers are trained to be able to reach the pinnacle of the sport at the right time and not maximised or worn out as an age group swimmer.
Relay Time! The quartet of Ben Cope, Daniel Johnson, Matthew Richards and Tom Watkin stepped up big time to register an 18 second drop on their entry time and head into the final in third position. Inspired in the final the boys raced to a superb SILVER, soooo close to first place. An absoutely brilliant race, great to watch. Matthew Richards layed down his marker by racing to a new Welsh Junior Record on his way to taking GOLD in the 100 Fly in a new PB of 57.0.
Matthew Richards in the form of his life takes another GOLD in the 200 Individual Medley, dominating the final from the start. Charley Jones powered into the final of the 50 Backstroke placing seventh. The boys once again destroyed their entry time in the 4×100 freestyle relay and placed 9th in the final.
Laura Hawkins raced in the 100 Breast stroke just missing out on the final placing 12th. Daniel Johnson and Matthew Richards took on the boys 200 Freestyle field with great success, both making the final in eighth and third respectively. Daniel with his first swim under the two minute “barrier” with a 1.59. Matthew Richards also progressing to the final on the 50m Butterfly. During the finals Daniel brought his PB down again to place eighth in the final and Matthew Richards destroyed his best time by an unbelievable four seconds to take the GOLD and another Welsh Junior Record! Thirty minutes later Matthew raced the 50 Butterfly and once again winning GOLD in a new PB and creating history with his fourth Welsh Junior Record.
An excellent finish to a great week.